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APFFC Newsletter Issue 3

APFFC Newsletter Issue 3



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Published by Toni Johnson

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Published by: Toni Johnson on Jun 20, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Akbar Pray Foundation for Change
 Looking for the next great read by Akbar Pray? 
He will want to challenge the length of hissentence or try and overturn hisconviction. However, the law books werewritten for college students and Rasheedreads on a fourth grade level.Each and every one of us knowsRasheed. We have watched him mullwords that in a perfect world he shouldhave mastered in the sixth grade. Wehave heard him once, perhaps twice readaloud and shook our heads. We know heis challenged, but we fail to challengehim, challenge him to take educationserious, to take himself serious. SoRasheed goes along, figuring that he'll getalong. He won't.Down the road, but not that far down, life will pose to Rasheed questions,present him with challenges. There will bequestion that he is ill equipped to answer,and challenges he won't be able to meet.The Rasheed and Rasheeda's of theworld,
Continued  Page 3 
It is not that the teachers inRasheed's schools are sub-par. It is notthat the books are woefully outdatedor sub-standard. It is not that theadministration is uninterested or uninspired. You see, Rasheed can'tread because he doesn't care to learn.Rasheed is disengaged.Rasheed knows that hedoesn't read well, but he's okay withthat, as neither do most of his friends.Rasheed is not all that certain thatgood reading, or for that matter education, will play a major role in hislife. You see Rasheed is part of agrowing culture, pointedly not AfricanAmerican culture, but street culture,where little to no emphasis is placedon education and the idea of STEM(Science, Technology, Engineeringand Math) could just as easily bereferring to a crack bottle stem.
Rasheed is disinterestedand disengaged
..Rasheed wants to blow up, buthe doesn't want to grow up. Rasheedhas rarely read a book, that wasn’t a "hood novel " pays scant attention to thenews and only opens up the paper to theSports Section. Rasheed knows Kobe'sstats, but doesn't know how to balance acheckbook.Rasheed doesn't know that there is adirect correlation between his amountof education and the probability of hisspending and inordinate amount of hislife behind bars. Rasheed could know if he read, but Rasheed doesn't read.Hence, he doesn't know. If, Reasheed isever caught up in the Criminal Justicesystem, the indictment will look near Greek to him. Rasheed has never seenthe word exculpatory and the worddisproportionate is equally foreign tohim. In the FEDS Rasheed will beforced to get a GED, but he won't beforced to read.Over time the seriousness of hissituation will began to dawn on him.
Why Rasheed Can’t Read
: A Culture of Disengagement
 lorem ipsum dolor issue, date
Letter to the Editor 
“I have dreams and you gave me the courage to keep trying to do better.” 
-David Dunham
In closing, if you ever feel the need toreach out to me, don't hesitate. To theextent that my circumstance permits, Iam here for you. Be well David andstay safe.Sincerely,Akbar PrayDear Mr. Pray,My name is David Dunham. I am aninmate at Turbeville CorrectionalInstitution. I just got through readingyour book 
The Death of the Game 
. Iwould like to thank you for writing it.This book makes me think twice aboutthe choices I make in my future. I amon a sentence, which is called YOA(youthful Offender’s Act). The Stateof South Carolina hands it out likewelfare. Although I will go up for parole after 10 months, I will still beon papers until 2012. I am in here for dealing with the so called “game.”I am dealing with the bad choices Imade. Before I read your book, I hadthe devil in my ear telling me that it will be okay to go back out there and deal. Iknow it wasn’t right, but like other convicts I was thinking I will be hard tofinda job on the street. Now Iunderstand this game is dead. It’s adead end. It can only lead two places. Ialready am at one and don’t want to goto the other. Every night I try to think of a plan for the future. The more Ithink, the scared I become. I don’tknow what to do. I know hustling is notthe way of life.I have to make the right choices. Iwill be 21 this year. I pray I live longenough to have kids and a family.This book made me realize this dopegame is not cool at all. Thank youMr. Pray. You made me look atselling drugs in a new light, It is stillways I can hustle and make money. Icall it “legit hustling” or “legit balling,” working hard or evenowning my own company one day. Ihave dreams and you gave me thecourage to keep trying to do better.Thanks,David DunhamHello David,David, first let me thank you verymuch my brother for taking thetime out to write me. David, Ihave received hundreds of lettersin response to my book 
 Death of  the Game 
. However, I say thiswith no air in it, none of themhave touched and moved me inthe manner that yours did. Your letter showed me clearer than anycommunication that I had yet toreceive, that the message that Iwanted desperately to sharewith young brothers like yourself wastaking hold. That the cautionary tale, thatI attempted to outline in my book, was being felt and in your case adhered to.David, if 
 Death of the Game 
never makes adime, I will have received all the rewardthat I could ever ask for, as I know throughyou that I have changed the trajectory of someone's life for the better. I pray David,that you continue on the course that youhave now charted for yourself and if "LegitBallin " remains your ultimate goal, thenDavid, I pray that you blow it through theroof.
“If Death of the Game never makes a dime, I will have received all the reward that I could ever ask for, as I know through you that I have changed the trajectory of   someone's life for the better.
”–Akbar Pray 
Issue 3, June 16, 2012
 lorem ipsum dolor issue, date
Why Rasheed Can’t Read
Continued from page 1
many of them fatherless, needsmentors. Someone to sturdy theladder as they start their climb fromit's bottom rung.There is a generation beinglost. A generation left to their owndevices, by the generation thatpreceded them. However, all is notlost. Each one of us can make adifference, if, we are willing to stepto the plate.
 If, not you then who?  If not now, then when? 
Akbar Pray, Editor-in-Chief Want to become an APFFCmentor?If so, log on towww.apffc.com 
Issue 3, June 16, 2012www.apffc.org
The Reason I Write
 A Manifesto
By Rudy Williams
I am a scribe; I write for multiplereasons--edification, escape, self-discovery, pleasure, posterity, et al--butthe main reason I write is to combatthe daily vicious lies and subtle racismof the mainstream corporate media.Our communities are so ravished bykiller cops, gangs, guns, drugs, HIVS,crime, violence, joblessness and want--the obvious culprits--most of us arecompletely oblivious to the savagecarnage that the mainstream mediawreaks on our minds. The media'srelentless propaganda is the mostlethal "WMD"(weapons of massdestruction) of them all. Its damage isso viral, pernicious and widespread; itcannot be adequately measured or contained. Thus, I consider the media'snonstop bombardment of neo-racistpropaganda to be no less than an act of all out war and genocide on our hearts,minds and souls, and our naturalrights.Brothers, thugs, gangstas andgangbangers: put up your puny Glocksand UZIs, pick up pens and becomecultural warriors before it's too late--and stop being mere glorified pawns
nd pied pipers for the Clive Davisesand Liar Cohens of the music, prisonsand coffin industries.STOP THE MADNESS--NOW!!!!!!!!!"Real art" is supposed to be"neutral, nonpolitical and propaganda-free"-- yeah right. The Ameri
anruling class has always feared,outlawed, tabooed, co-opted andcorrupted any art--Hip Hop, Jazz,Rock and Roll, Voodoo, astrology,witchcraft, bitchcraft, etc., that's athreat or potential threat to its power.Same thing in Russia and China: after 
THE REASON I WRITEHEAR YE, HEAR YE, ALL YERICH AND FAMOUS RAPPERS,POETS, PAINTERS, SINGERSAND DANCERS, AND YEGREATCINEMATOGRAPHERS,NOVELISTS ANDPLAYWRIGHTS: HEAR YE,HEAR YE!Be not afraid nor ashamed to rise tothe occasion, because, more thanever, now is the time for you tocome down from Mount Olympusand your ivory tower mansions andtownhouses to put your talents,money and powerful art to work inthe service of a truly mighty, urgentand worthy cause: repairing our rapidly dying families andcommunities.
This is the reason I write ...and the reason you should.
their revolutions, the new rulers crushed and"reformed” the ancient regime's religiousand secular leaders, educators, writers,musicians, painters and poets, much longer and harder than what they did to even thegreedy bankers and fledging capitalists, their erstwhile arch-enemies. A "culturerevolution" was needed practically everyother day, after the political and economicone, to eradicate the lingering influences of the dispossessed literati.Guns and Molotov cocktails willget you only so far. Thus, to preserve itspolitical dominance, a closet tyranny suchas the United Snakes must secure andmaintain its hold on the minds of the masses by constantly co-opting and corrupting thepopular culture: music, art, literature,cinema, sports, etc.Proletarians don't read Marx or Shakespeare; they read James Patterson,listen to Lady Gaga, and watch KEEPINGUP WITH THE KARDASHIANS, andparty-hardy with Li'l Wayne and KanyeWest.All art is political. However, to besocially relevant and effective, our art (andartists) must be grounded in the realities andneeds of our communities, and trulyuplifting. As a writer, the novel is myprimary art form. I utilize it to presentknowledge, wisdom and ideas to the mindsof my readers, and this, I hope, will help usreverse the racist divisions, lies, stereotypesand intransigent
pathologies imposed on
and our subculture by the fascist corporatemedia.
The ink of the scholar is more precious the blood of the martyr." 
Prophet Muhammad

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